Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;   president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org


January 2015 Meeting Minutes



Southeast Volusia Audubon meeting January 8th, 2014


December 2014 Financial Report:

Balance Dec 1st:      $2,649.88

Expenses:                  $ 100.00   Halifax river science fair award contribution

                                    $   50.00   MDC rent

Balance Dec 31st:     $ 2375.88  


The 50/50 raffle raised $20.00

Our raffle supports the Audubon Adventure program for our schools. Sixteen teachers are taking advantage of this program.  The cost is $16.00 per classroom and this program is looking for sponsors.


Conservation Chair Report by Lamont Ingles:

Amendment 1 is the largest conservation bill ever passed in the Union. The State of Florida’s legislative session begins on March 3rd 2015.  Charles Dean is the chairman of the Senate Group tasked in finding legislation for Amendment 1. A website has been created but parts are not live yet.  It will ask for citizen input. The web address is: http://www.flsenate.gov/media/topics/wlc


The press release below can be found at:

http://www.flsenate.gov/Media/PressReleases/show/2159


Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation & Conservation Launches Website to Take Public Comment on Amendment 1 Implementation


Tallahassee —


Senator Charlie Dean (R-Inverness), Chair of the Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation, today announced the creation of a webpage dedicated to collecting public comment on the implementation of Amendment 1, Water and Land Conservation, passed by Florida voters in November 2014.

 

“Florida’s environment impacts every single resident and visitor to our state, so we want to be certain that we hear from Floridians with specific ideas for how to implement this constitutional amendment,” said Chair Dean. “This webpage gives all interested citizens the opportunity to play a meaningful role in the legislative process.”

 

In November 2014, Florida voters approved an amendment to the state constitution which requires one third of documentary stamp revenue to be placed into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund and spent on a variety of environmental programs and initiatives. Senate President Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) has tasked the Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation with drafting legislation to implement this new amendment.

                   

“Implementing this amendment is a historic responsibility and a tremendous opportunity to make a significant impact on the future of water and natural resources policy in our state,” said President Gardiner. “It is important for all interested Floridians to make their voices heard on existing and new programs to improve and protect Florida’s environment.”

 

The Water and Land Conservation page within the Senate website provides constituents an easy way to access information and provide feedback to members of the Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee. Over the next few months, the committee will conduct a number of meetings to discuss and review these comments as they prepare legislation for the 2015 Session.

 

“We will preserve all comments and maintain them as part of our committee record,” said Chair Dean. “We plan to provide frequent updates and hope interested Floridians will sign up for the Senate Tracker, which will allow them to stay informed about the ongoing work of our committee.”

 

To view the Water and Land Conservation webpage, please click here. To sign up for the Florida Senate Tracker, please click here.

 


This link above opens up a lot more information and has an area where you can provide comments.


Field Activities Report:  


It was a beautiful day at the Viera wetlands but the access to Quick Ponds is closing.  We opened gate and proceeded.  We saw bitterns and caracaras.


The next field trip will be to Merritt Island on January 17th. We will meet at 7am at the Edgewater Dunkin Donuts and will arrange a carpool. We hope to see Roseate Spoonbills and many types of ducks. The weather should be nice.


The Space Coast Birding Festival will be held on January 21st through 26th 2015.


Tonight’s Speaker: Dr. George Burgess


Dr. Burgess is the coordinator of Museum Operations at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida and Director of the Florida Program for Shark Research (FPSR) and a member of the National Shark Research Consortium. He also serves as curator of the International Shark Attack File and the International Sawfish Encounter Database. The ISAF is recognized as the definitive source of information on shark attacks and the ISED documents all known encounters with Sawfish a globally endangered species. He is a founding member and past president of the American Elasmobranch Society which is the international scientific society of researchers who study sharks, skates, rays, chimaera and their kin.


Dr. Burgess gave an educational and fascinating talk with scientific data on Unprovoked Shark Attack which is one of the 6 different categories of attacks.  The number of attacks is driven by human population. Surfers are the number 1 group involved in unprovoked attacks. Surfing is called a provocative activity to a shark.  The time of day stats show the correlation of human activity and shark attack.  Bull and Tiger sharks represent 25% of the attacks while 75% of attacks are represented by non-lethal species. Due to the advances of trauma care only 10% of attacks cause death.  In the beginning of data collection it was 50% of attacks caused death. Scientific shark shows are at the mercy of the networks and unfortunately the media promotes fear. An Ocean of Fear is a documentary about the USS Indianapolis shark attack of crew.     


However the data shows that out of every 10 humans killed by a shark there have been 10 million sharks killed by over fishing. Sharks are very susceptible to over fishing because they are long lived with a slow sexual maturity and a low reproductive output. 


The Smalltooth Sawfish which is a shark relative is almost extinct. You can greatly help conservation efforts by reporting sawfish sightings or capture to sawfish@flmnh.ufl.edu or call (352) 392-2360. There is a website with more information: www.flmnh.ufl.edu/sawfish/


Meeting adjourned and refreshments served. Happy New Year to all!


 





33